Abortion Law Reforms and Cognitive Abilities of Teens in Romania

42 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2017

See all articles by Alina Botezat

Alina Botezat

Romanian Academy - "Gh. Zane" Institute for Economic and Social Research

Mark Levels

Maastricht University, School of Business and Economics | ROA

Date Written: January 17, 2017

Abstract

We exploit the drastic liberalization of abortion laws in Romania in 1989 to examine long-term unintended consequences of abortion law reforms for the educational performance of children. Using test scores from PISA surveys conducted among the 1990, 1993, and 1996 birth cohorts, we employ a before-after strategy and a differences-in-differences approach to identify the effect of abortion law liberalization on children’s cognitive abilities. Children born under a liberal abortion policy score significantly higher on tests, with the effects being higher in reading and science scores. Children born after abortion law liberalization are also more likely to attend an academic high school compared to those born under the old abortion law. Boys and children born in rural areas are more likely to benefit from the liberalization of abortion law. These outcomes can mainly be explained by the fact that these children were more likely to have been planned and wanted at the time of conception.

Keywords: Abortion Law, School Performance, Romania

JEL Classification: J13, J24

Suggested Citation

Botezat, Alina and Levels, Mark, Abortion Law Reforms and Cognitive Abilities of Teens in Romania (January 17, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2900898 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2900898

Alina Botezat (Contact Author)

Romanian Academy - "Gh. Zane" Institute for Economic and Social Research ( email )

Teodor Codrescu 2
Iasi, 700481
Romania
004 0332-408922 (Phone)
004 0332-408922 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ices.ro

Mark Levels

Maastricht University, School of Business and Economics | ROA ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
34
Abstract Views
435
PlumX Metrics